It's common for people to have concerns about the color of their teeth, and many folks reach directly for over-the-counter teeth whitening products. You may, however, want to have a serious conversation with your dentist and hygienist before you pick a new product and an approach. These 5 concerns should be covered before you make a choice.
Will It Even Work?
Some types of discolorations are too strong to be addressed using over the counter options, and others are caused by problems that aren't necessarily just staining. If, for example, a tooth is now beginning to decay, it may actually be further compromised by applying chemicals. Your dentist can check the current health of your teeth to ensure that you won't be doing more harm than good.
Before you get too worried about the color of your teeth, you might want to look at other approaches. It's common for teeth that are covered in plaque to pick up discolorations in the plaque layer. A good cleaning by your hygienist may be all that's necessary to restore your smile. You may also want to have a conversation about whether you're brushing and flossing the right way.
Professionals often have access to better preparations, and they tend to know what to do with them. Even if you're comfortable working with something like a strong peroxide solution, it can beneficial to have someone else apply it for you. This will ensure that the whitening is as even as possible.
The process calls for about 30 minutes to one hour of treatment, and you may need to do multiple visits over the course of four weeks. Results from going to a teeth whitening services provider should last between a year and three years.
People who have crowns, fillings, or other dental appliance may be wary of teeth whitening processes due to worries about chemical reactions or unevenness between their natural teeth and these additional elements. A 35% hydrogen peroxide solution applied in an office setting should not create any issues, and your dentist can also provide a 10% carbamide peroxide solution for home use in order to maintain your new smile.
In some cases, people undergoing teeth whitening may experience tooth sensitivity, although this is usually temporary. You may also experience irritation of soft mouth tissues, particularly the gum areas right by any of the teeth that are being cleaned.